Tonight we’re continuing our pre-New Year’s Eve exploration of sparkling wines with a double-header review of crémant from Lucien Albrecht.
For those of you who don’t know, crémant is a name for French sparkling wine that’s not from Champagne. And there’s something I just like about the name, particularly when it’s crémant d’Alsace. That’s just fun to say. And while we’re getting everyone on the same page, if you don’t know Alsace, that’s a wine region in the eastern part of France, along the German border. Alsace is known for producing exceptional white wines, and this crémant is among that exceptionality. (I know that’s not really a word… I just don’t care.)
Lucien Albrecht Crémant D’Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs
We actually reviewed this wine a couple years ago, and although it’s a non-vintage wine we thought it would be worth a revisit. Even though a wine is labeled as non-vintage, it would be impossible for it to not have some differences from one year to the next. After all, each year will bring a new batch of grapes, each influenced by different weather and yielding different nuances. So here’s what we think of it now.
The fragrance on the nose is soft, but pleasant with a nice blend of yeast, citrus and apple aromas. The palate is dry and filled with bubbles. It offers flavors of yeast (think fresh bread), lemon and apples. The finish is fairly long and evolves. It starts out with the flavor of salted apples, but evolves into the flavors of yeast and cane sugar. It doesn’t have the sweetness of sugar, but the flavor lingering on my tongue reminds me of white sugar. Some might interpret that as a bad thing and I’d agree if it were too intense, but it’s not… it’s just a nuance and it’s kind of interesting. This would be really good with salty cheeses or meats. All told, this is a nice bottle of bubbly.
Wine: Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs
Variety: Pinot Blanc
Lucien Albrecht Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé
As a pink wine, this is one many guys might avoid because it threatens their masculinity. But don’t fear the pink wine. It’s awesome! And you can still be a manly man, even if you drink pink sparkling wine. Yes, I watch UFC fights, use power tools, listen to Black Sabbath, lift weights, play video games and I drink pink, sparkling wine… and I’m OK with that! In fact, I can’t wait to drink more of this one, because it is awesome.
And, Mr.-tough-guy-who’s-too-cool-for-pink-wine, you probably drink pinot noir and think that it’s cool. Well, I have news for you. This wine is 100% pinot noir.
The nose of this bubbly shows yeast, lime and mineral with moderate intensity. The palate is quite refreshing, offering crisp apple, cranberry and lime flavors with a nice feel to the bubbles. You might think of it as a cranberry-apple spritz with a slice of lime. This is a brut, so it is dry, not sweet. I probably didn’t do justice with my description on this one as this is a very nice bottle of bubbly!
Don’t let the price scare you on this one either. While the suggested retail price is $19.99, I’ve seen it for sale as low as $12.00.
Wine: Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé
Variety: Pinot Noir
Disclosure: These wines were received as a sample.